Tag Archives: overshadow

That’s right, Nigel – Cameron recalled Parliament to overshadow your conference speech

Not voting UKIP: VP could have run a picture of Farage or Cameron - but this is the message that needs to get through. Now watch the comment column fill up with something that is never seen in the wild - kippers bleating.

Not voting UKIP: VP could have run a picture of Farage or Cameron – but this is the message that needs to get through. Now watch the comment column fill up with something that is never seen in the wild – kippers bleating.

If anyone needed further proof of how badly UKIP has become divorced from reality, they need look no further than the latest bizarre claim from the party’s leader, Nigel Farage.

According to the Daily Mail (not the most reliable of sources, maybe, but closely-enough aligned with UKIP for this to have the ring of truth), Mr Farage and others have said that David Cameron’s recall of Parliament to debate action against Islamic State was a “cynical ploy” to divert attention from his keynote speech at the UKIP conference in Doncaster racecourse.

Speaking on Wednesday, Farage whinged that the timing of the Parliamentary recall was a deliberate attempt to overshadow him: “It is widely believed Prime Minister David Cameron held back on recalling Parliament on an issue of massive national importance so it didn’t affect the Labour Party conference… However, he still thought it best to delay parliamentary recall until Friday, and not do it tomorrow.”

That’s right, Nigel.

He didn’t recall Parliament because Iraq has appealed to the UK for help against IS.

He didn’t do it because IS has killed at least one UK citizen and may kill more.

And he didn’t do it because IS jihadists may try to attack UK citizens on British soil.

He didn’t leave the Labour conference alone because Labour has hundreds of MPs who would have found it difficult to extract themselves from their conference commitments, and he didn’t leave Labour alone because postponing the remainder of the Labour conference would give his strongest opponents more publicity than they were already getting.

Nor did he schedule the recall for Friday because UKIP has no MPs and would, therefore, be unaffected.

The fact that UKIP is fielding 12 (count ’em – 12!) candidates in next year’s general election has Cameron quaking in his boots.

He is terrified that you will wrest the balance of power away from Nick Clegg and his Liberal Democrats, meaning he might have to form a government with you if he can’t do it on his own.

And he lives in fear that you will go on to steal all the limelight from him.

As surely as a pig just flew past my first-floor office window – that is exactly how it is.

(Alternatively, you are a deluded egomaniac who badly needs to regain a sense of proportion. People are making life-or-death decisions and you are worried that people won’t see you spitting out your favourite soundbite on the Six O’Clock? Grow up.)

The Telegraph must stand firm against Downing Street bullies

Self-satisfied: Downing street communications chief Craig Oliver. But does he have any reason to look so pleased with himself?

Self-satisfied: Downing street communications chief Craig Oliver. But does he have any reason to look so pleased with himself?

Is Downing Street director of communications Craig Oliver a liar, or incompetent? Or is he an incompetent liar?

These are the questions we should ask after he denied threatening the Daily Telegraph with tougher press regulation if it published details of its investigation into Maria Miller’s expenses.

The Telegraph reported that Miller’s parents were living in her taxpayer-funded south London second home, implying that she had fraudulently claimed expenses for it, in December 2012 – and immediately followed its report with another, alleging that government advisers tried to bully the paper out of running the story.

The Telegraph claimed that Miller’s special advisor, Joanna Hindley, told a reporter that the Editor of the Telegraph was involved in meetings with the Prime Minister and the Culture Secretary over implementing the recommendations made by Lord Justice Leveson, and that the reporter should discuss the issue with “people a little higher up your organisation”.

The report continued: “Miss Hindley immediately contacted the Telegraph’s head of public affairs to raise concerns about the story. The news group decided to delay publication in order to ensure the facts were correct.

“Having carried out further checks, the newspaper concluded that the story was accurate and decided to publish the article at the first opportunity, meaning it appeared on the day same-sex marriage was debated in the Commons.” The government then suggested that the Telegraph was using the story to “overshadow” the announcement.

“Miss Hindley also accused the Telegraph of harassing Mrs Miller’s father, John Lewis,” the story continued

“In fact, reporters had a brief conversation with Mr Lewis in order to establish how long he had lived with Mrs Miller. Over the course of the conversation, Mr Lewis said he enjoyed reading the Telegraph.”

These claims are clearly damaging to Miss Hindley’s reputation as she is shown to be threatening, on Miller’s behalf, to use government powers to clamp down on reports in the Telegraph, which would be an abuse of the system.

Today’s report on the BBC News website has former Telegraph editor Tony Gallagher claiming that Mr Oliver contacted him to “lean” on the newspaper and “prevent it going about its legitimate business”.

He said: “She has done the free press a great favour,” he said.

“Maria Miller provides a cast-iron example of why politicians should have no power over the press.”

Mr Oliver denied the claim that the Telegraph was threatened. But the question remains: If this is true, why did he not take appropriate action sooner?

If he is right in his claim, then the government could have sued the Telegraph for libelling not only Miss Hindley, but also Mr Oliver andMiller herself. Why didn’t he?

The Telegraph provided its own version of events immediately after they took place, but Mr Oliver has waited 16 months to offer us his side of the story. It’s too late now.

We can only conclude that he is either lying about what happened, incompetent in not having taken the appropriate action at the appropriate time, or an incompetent liar because – given then evidence available to us – it was those acting for the government who misbehaved.

And the bullying, possibly blackmailing fraudster is still in her job. Why?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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